Loyalty programs enhanced by social media

Adding a social media component to a company’s loyalty program enables a brand to find out where its customers spend time online, their preferred method of communication, and which content or campaigns are most engaging.

Since the launch of the Magical Movie Rewards loyalty program on March 31, Marcus Theatres has recognized the significant role social media can play in growing the program. Social media allows for guest engagement. It creates excitement about products and services – in our case, going to the movies, eating at our restaurants and concession stands, and entering sweepstakes to win movie-related prizes. In fact, we recently created a campaign to acquire more loyalty program members by tapping into our social media database to target and deliver relevant content including special discounts, offers and sweepstakes.

Loyalty programs encourage many of the same behaviors as social media, so it seems logical to target the same market. We find the same loyal customers and ask them to spread the word to friends and followers on social media. Another way to achieve this is through social paid ads targeting followers with offers specific to loyalty members, encouraging sign-ups. 

Social media also can incentivize new customers to sign up for the loyalty program. For instance, to help launch Marcus Theatres’ loyalty program last year, the company teamed up with Disney. When new guests signed up for the loyalty program, they were automatically entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to win a Disney trip, including airfare, hotel accommodations, Disneyland park tickets and a Disney studio tour.

The best way to achieve success in supporting a loyalty program through social media is by experimentation to find out what works best for your company. Through a bit of fine tuning, it becomes clear that social media can become a natural extension of a brand’s loyalty base – and vice versa.

-Rachel Johnson is a social media specialist at Marcus Theatres

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